Triumph Herald

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Triumph Herald

Triumph Herald

1959 - 1970
United Kingdom
4 cyl. OHC
948 cc
42 bhp
4 spd. man
Top Speed:
84 mph / 135 km/h
Number Built:
370,238 (inc. knock downs)
2 star
Triumph Herald
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 2


The first Herald went on sale to the general public in April 1959 as a Coupe - although these have long since become very rare and are most sought after!

The Coupe was never really intended to be a proper 4 seater, the rear seat being available only as an option. But the similarities with other British sports cars was soon evident, such as the four speed gearbox, 948cc engine fitted with twin SU H1 carbys and an output of 42 bhp.

Some features of the new car were considered quite novel at the time, such as independent rear suspension, an incredibly tight turning circle (25 ft.), a collapsible and adjustable steering column, and a greatly reduced maintenance schedule through use of nylon and rubber bushes that virtually eliminated grease fittings on the chassis.

The Coupe was soon joined by a Saloon version, which allowed far more room for a full rear seat. The Saloon was originally powered by a single Solex-carbureted, 38.5 bhp gross/34.5 bhp net version of the same 948cc engine, though later the twin-carb engine would be offered as well.

By March 1960, these two models were joined by a Convertible, which also offered a top that folded almost completely out of sight, a full (though a bit cramped) rear seat and the twin-carb engine.

1960 also saw the introduction of the Herald S, a stripped-down saloon that never caught on. Bigger news the following year was the introduction of the 1200 series, incorporating the same Coupe, Saloon and Convertible body styles with a larger engine and somewhat more relaxed final drive.

Soon added to the range was an Estate Wagon and the short-lived Courier van, a "commercial" version of the Estate wagon much like the once-common sedan delivery versions of American station wagons.

A further upgrading of the 1147cc engine came with introduction of the 12/50, a 1200 Saloon with 51 hp engine, folding sunroof, different grille (seen later in the U.S. on the Sports 1200) and uprated trim. By the end of 1964, the Coupe had disappeared, perhaps falling victim to the popularity of the Spitfire!

In 1968, facing competition both from other marques and other models in the Triumph range, the Herald received a final, major upgrading. More power came from a single-carb version of the 1296cc Spitfire Mk.3 (and Triumph 1300) engine, and a front-end restyle came from adapting a variation of the Vitesse sheetmetal.

Improvements were made also to the drivetrain and interior - as is evidenced by the image above with the humble Herald now offering the look and feel of more stately up-market British saloons. The Herald was available in Saloon, Convertible and Estate Wagon variants, replacing all previous configurations of Herald (except for the 1200 Saloon, which continued as before).

Sales were however to quickly disappear, and by 1971 we farewelled the robust little Herald. In Australia, the Herald was sold as the AMI 12/50 after being assembled by Australian Motor Industries from parts shipped from Coventry. There were a great many differences from UK spec vehicles, such as the incorporation of a Vitesse bonnet and no sunshine roof.

Production numbers of the Triumph Herald included:

201,142 1200 Saloons (from April 1961-Dec 1970)
5,329 1200 Coupe (fromApril 1961-0ct 1964)
43,295 1200 Convertible (from April 1961-Sept 1967)
53,267 12/50 Saloon (from March 1963-Sept 1967)
40,433 13/60 Saloon (from Oct 1967-Jan 1971)
11,772 13/60 Convertible (from Oct 1967-April 1971)

A further 15,000 13/60s (approx) were exported in knockdown form.
Triumph Herald
Triumph Herald
Triumph Herald
Triumph Herald

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Also see:

Triumph Herald 13/60
Triumph Herald 13/60 Specifications
Lost Marques: Triumph
Triumph Car Brochures
Triumph Car Commercials
Reader Reviews page 1 of 1
Click here to add your review
pradeep k s
Posted Recently
Here in Bangalore during the heydays of the Herald,the car truly belonged to the defined sect namely the professionals and that too in all versions.Two door coupe,four door sedan ,convertible and a estate which was a spectacular offering by that time.And in many Indian movie it was featured for a added glamour.With these significance Herald even today enjoys a cult following and many cars in good conditions simply brief the breezy days of the past era.
Posted Recently
Could anyone help? My parents had a 1961 triumph herald coupe. Colour: lavender/lilac/mauve. Gorgeous. Can't find example of colour anywhere and partner wants to do model car for me. I can even remember the reg!
Shane York
Posted Recently
I am currently the new owner of a Red 1964 Triumph Herald Convertible and am embarking on a full restoration. Does anyone know where to source front and rear rubber bumpers? Also I am looking for a complete shop manual. This car has a 1200 Spitfire power train and has twin SU carbs. It is a LH car and is complete. Does anyone know where to get a hood for it in white as well as a carpet and interior kit including door panels. Does anyone have the correct steering wheel for the car or know where to buy one?
contact me at [email protected] *** .
Posted Recently
I'd like to know any details regarding the two convertibles, as I'm recording any that still exist. Genuine 948 convertibles are few and far between. Site triumphherald *** email [email protected] ***
Geoff Fuller
Posted Recently
We are rebuilding a Triumph Herald 948 Convertible and need 4 x new wheels for it. Cansomeone tell me where I can get/buy either brand new wheels or refurbished original wheels. You can Email me on [email protected] *** ***
Posted Recently
I'm rebuilding a 1960 convertable that was pranged in the rear and left to rot 17 years ago. Fortunately it was covered and the basics are now rust free. I am in need of small things like bumper overriders, horn button assembly, headlight sourrounds, badges etc. If anyone can help please contact me at [email protected] *** ***
Carl Hood
Posted Recently
I owned 5 T-Heralds in my time. Three 948cc sedans, one 1200 and one 12/50. I absolutely loved these cars - they had character! In truth, they fell apart easily on Australian roads and rattled like no other. All part of the charm. The 12/50 was easly the best (in terms of build quality and performance) but all are remembered with great affection.
Currently planning to import a Vitesse Mk1 2-litre from the UK ... Really can't let these cars go.
Mike Kelly
Posted Recently
My first car was a Herald coupe in 1974 , my sister owned one, and my brother too. Three Herald coupes in one house hold ! They were very cheap then, about 50 dollars each , nobody wanted them . Father worked at AMI and spare parts were no problem... he painted them for us , mine green , the two others red. Mine had a Standard 10 motor in it with the normal cam, it was gutless brother tuned his properly and it got up to 85 mph on the then new Burwood Hwy upgrade, near VFL park. They blew up diffs now and then, but were generally reliable . The motors in them were tired and burnt oil in great copius quatities . The dash panel was a strange sandwich of fibre material and metal . All 3 were retired by 1976 and left to rot , parked together in the back paddock... years of sitting had the floors collapsed from rust ...we sold them to a young fella in the mid 80's .
Bob Lawrence
Posted Recently
Hi, it's coupe. I owned one in 1960 and actually got 86 mph out of it (down hill). The partition between the back "seat" and the boot was only cardboard. You could take it out and sleep in the back. It also had a reserve fuel tank with about a gallon if you turned the tap. The tiny SU's were always going out of tune. I got quite good at balancing them.
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